Ayahuasca is a drink with psychoactive properties that originated in the Amazon region. Throughout history has been prepared and used by tribal shamans from this zone as part of curative and religious ceremonies, and some magical features and health benefits have been linked to it. If you want to try ayahuasca healing treatment, we suggest you visit these trusted safe ayahuasca retreats.

This is known mainly because of its effect on psychological experiences: many people who have consumed ayahuasca claim that it has helped them to achieve a sense of spiritual transcendence, in some cases maintained long after consumption. In this sense, ayahuasca can be compared with drugs such as psilocybin and LSD.

This is often prepared by boiling Banisteriopsis caapi, a plant of the class of lianas which is also known as ayahuasca and which contains alkaloids that inhibit the MAO enzyme, along with others that contain the main psychoactive factors: N, N-Dimethyltryptamine or DMT. The most common is that this second plant is Psychotria viridis or Diplopterys cabrerana.

The term “ayahuasca” comes from the Quechua “ayawaska”, which can be translated as “liana of the spirits”; According to the traditions of these people, this substance allows the souls of those who consume it to leave their bodies without needing to die. In other Latin American languages it is called “caapi”, “nishi cobin”, “nixi pae”, “natem” and “shori”.

Ayahuasca (Banisteropsis caapi) contains several alkaloids from the beta-carbolines class, which inhibit the activity of the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO) and sometimes also reuptake the neurotransmitter serotonin. The most studied are harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydro harmine.

This inhibition of MAO allows the diffusion of blood and brain N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), the active principle of ayahuasca as a drink (although, as we have said, this is not found in the plant itself but in others), which causes the characteristic psychoactive effect of this compound.

DMT is a very common endogenous hallucinogenic compound: it is present naturally in many plants, but also in human blood and cerebrospinal fluid. However, at this time it is not known with certainty what functions it fulfills in organisms.


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